Education programme launched in Milton Keynes to inspire scientists of the future

Free courses available at Bletchley Park for children aged 10 and over

By Olga Norford
Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 11:50 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 11:52 am

A new education programme has been launched by The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park to inspire young scientists of the future.

The Ambassador Kids programme will support the teaching of technology via various activities and access to the museum’s vast collection of historical computers.

With fewer children studying GCSE Computer Science than ever before, the programme hopes to inspire children to see technology in a different light – empowering them with the knowledge and passion to potentially explore a career in science and technology.

Pupils will have access to the vast collection of equipment at the National Museum of Computing

The programme will run monthly sessions – with plans to expand to every two weeks as the programme grows. Each session will focus on a hands-on practical activity, including:

Microsoft MakeCode sessions and video game building

Raspberry Pi coding activities

Sphero STEM kits & robotics

BBC micro:bit coding

Virtual reality activities powered by Chillblast

3D printing and digital modelling

Minecraft education activities, provided by Microsoft

The programme is free, open to all children from the age of 10 and can be booked through the museum’s Eventbrite portal.

Jacqui Garrad, museum director at TNMOC, said: “Kids are less engaged in technology than ever before – from GCSE to A-levels – while the world is only becoming more digital.

"This is why now seemed the right time to launch our Ambassador Kids programme. At TNMOC, we are committed to fulfilling our mission to inspire, educate, and engage the next generation of technologists and this programme is another step in fulfilling that.”

The museum has been able to provide the programme for free thanks to sponsorship from Lightning Tools, a global provider of Microsoft SharePoint tools and web services. The team at Lightning Tools aligned closely with the museum’s mission to inspire, educate and engage as many children as possible and will be offering tools and mentors, as well as the free spots, for the programme.

Brett Lonsdale, co-founder of Lightning Tools, said: “Since engaging with the museum on its autism in the workplace programme, we’ve had a strong commitment to helping the museum achieve its mission. Now, more than ever, kids need a strong foundation to explore technology later in life – and this programme will do just that, in a fun and approachable way. If you look at how technology is moving, it’s always going to require people to write code and we’ll need a generation of aspiring coders to do that.”

“I’m also excited to participate in the programme myself as a mentor and give kids their first taste of tech. It’s really the perfect opportunity to help kids get the most out of it by playing, experimenting and experiencing technology hands-on.”

TNMOC’s Ambassador Kids programme would not be possible without continued support from Sophos, Issured, Pi Hut, Chillblast, Microsoft, Go Deply, Sphero and Agilitas.